Mobile factoids from Ofcom Communications Market Report

Ofcom has just published its seventh Communications Market Report. As usual this contains a wealth of information on the UK communications scene. I’ve picked out a few factoids which provide an insight into the mobile market. The figure numbers after each are those in the original report to help those who wish to delve more deeply

  • 37% say mobile broadband coverage is poor in the areas they want to use it (fig 5.18)
  • It looks like mobile voice minutes will surpass fixed voice minutes this year (fig 5.1)
  • 13.5m people are now using the intranet on mobile phones (fig 5.18)
  • Smartphone penetration is now 26.5% / 12.8m (fig 5.19) (that’s low compared with some places: Italy’s at least twice that)
  • iPhone share of traffic volume is declining steeply – tilting towards Android. (fig 5.21)
  • Voice is still growing: 6.7% growth in 2009, for a 13% CAGR over 5 years (fig 5.32, 5.43)
  • Contract customers are growing (10.3% 5-year CAGR) far more steeply than pre-pay (3.5% CAGR) (fig 5.47)
  • 32% of mobile subscriptions are now 3G (fig 5.55)
  • Household expenditure on mobile services is continuing to decline: from £33.23/month in 2004 to £30.66/month in 2009 (at 2009 prices) (fig 5.64)
  • 45.6% of mobile internet access is at home, and 17.8% at work (fig 5.88)

(CAGR = compound annual growth rate)

Also, there has been much talk about the future disparity between the fast growth in mobile data volumes  and the more moderate growth in the associated revenues (“exponential traffic, linear revenue”). However, most of this has been future looking predictions, and it’s interesting to see some real historical data supporting the contention that mobile operators need to find ways to optimise delivery costs in order to profitably sustain this growth:

(Figure 5.6)


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